Thursday 22 August 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds from TV21 #213 (Page 1)

Art for "Thunderbirds" in TV21 #213 by Frank Bellamy

What an interesting surprise! Excalibur is an auction house specializing in toys and movie merchandise and comics. Their auctions are online at The Saleroom As they say "Our next auction will be held on 6th / 7th September." and it's called "Model Railways; Movie, Music, and TV Memorabilia, Posters, Autographs, Comic Book Original Art and Comic Books" - so just about everything!

"Thunderbirds" header - compare to printed box below

"Thunderbirds" as printed in TV21 #213

The above original artwork is the first page of the story that appeared in TV21 #213 and you can see another fine example of how storing Bellamy's artwork brings dividends in terms of preserved colour. There appears to be no fading here. I remember when the TV21 comic came out at this period and the colour reproduction was nowhere near as good as when Bellamy first appeared in it in issue #52. And indeed if we compare the artwork to the comic reproduction we can see this - a sort of 'dulling' of colour with a hint that there was something lovely. Mind you the reproduction towards the end of TV21's run was worse still!

The auctioneers have shown close-ups of the artwork so I have grabbed there here for posterity.


The Hood

Excalibur describe the piece:
THUNDERBIRDS (1969) - ORIGINAL ARTWORK from TV21 Comic- FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - TV21: Issue # 213 - Part 5 Page 1 (of story) - "Leaving Scott (Tracy) for dead in the cavern Professor Beresford peels the face mask away to reveal the Tracys' arch enemy, The Hood ..!" Also features Brains, Thunderbird 4 & Thunderbird 2 'pod' - Bright Pelikan inks on board with hand written annotations to title area - (18" x 15" - 45.75 x 38 cm) 15.5" (26.5 x 39.5 cm) Flat/Unfolded - Very Fine (Full Colour) In addition the buyer will receive a copy of the original TV21 Comic issue number 213 February 15th 2069 (1969)
The lot (#1192) auction is on Saturday 7 September 2019 at 11:00 BST (includes Lots: 1001-1655) - the day before (6 September 2019 at 14:00 BST,  Lots: 1-333 are up for auction. It previously sold for £821 ironically on 7 September 2014

Gordon and Thunderbird 4
I'll update the spreadsheet and the details below after the auction

WHERE?: Excalibur c/o TheSaleroom
STARTING BID:£900 (Auctioneer's estimate: £1,500-£2,000)
END DATE: Saturday 7 September 2019

Thursday 15 August 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Garth, Heros and Fraser of Africa and more!

Original artwork by Frank Bellamy
Comic Book Auctions have their latest catalogue available which includes a few exciting Bellamy items. As usual bidding is also available on The Saleroom where pictures can be seen of all lots -  which I have borrowed here in the case of Bellamy.


The first piece of original art up for auction is "Heros the Spartan" episode 21 (17 July 1965) of the last full length Heros story Bellamy illustrated in Eagle. It's the penultimate episode of the story "The Slave Army" which ran in Vol. 16:9 - 16:30 (27 February 1965 - 24 July 1965) and certainly showed off Bellamy's colour work beautifully. These art boards are so rare that we might see a record broken for the highest priced Heros artwork by Bellamy. The last one I saw was in 2017 and sold for £1,559.43. Comic Book Auctions describe this particular one:
Heros The Spartan double-page original artwork (1965) painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 16 No 29, 1965. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Heros and his renegade slave army counter a ferocious attack from the Berbers and Abdullah the Cruel until the Berber Chieftain, El Raschid, challenges Heros to a deadly duel... Pelikan inks on board. 27 x 18 ins
Here's the published version for your (not at all perfect) comparison but you can see that the blues have held well on the original:

Eagle 17 July 1965 Vol.16 No29


Next we have another rarity. "Fraser of Africa" (written by George Beardmore) which must have been one of Bellamy's favourite strips. The subject of Africa was his favourite and his artwork - drawn the same size as published - showed a wonderful muted colour palette to mimic the arid African heat. This example has a lovely portrait of a lion.  This is from the first story, "Lost Safari" which ran in Eagle Vol. 11:32-12:4 (6 August 1960 - 28 January 1961) and was reprinted in the Hawk Book Fraser of Africa (Eagle classics series) in 1990. If I wanted one thing reprinted from original art it would be these three stories of "Fraser". Notice that three captions are missing from the artwork - most likely fallen off at some point, but do show where Bellamy did and didn't do the lettering. 

Eagle Vol. 11 No 36 (3 September 1960)
The auction is described:

Fraser of Africa/Eagle original artwork (1960) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 11: No 36. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. As part of his research, Bellamy had corresponded with a farmer in Kenya who had advised him on the wildlife he depicted and, ever the perfectionist, he used a limited palette of yellows and browns to capture the parched East African landscape. This page is Episode 5 of Bellamy's first Fraser of Africa story. Pelican inks on board. 14 x 12 ins

GARTH (Lot 112)

3 episodes of  "Garth: Sundance" Drawn by Frank Bellamy
This amazing lot has three Garth episodes (E206, E212 and E223) of the first story that Bellamy illustrated called Sundance. It was a strange situation which Bellamy himself admitted, with John Allard, the previous artist, still contributing to the strip - note the lines to indicate clouds on the first two. You can read what Bellamy said here.   To see strips from this story is extremely rare so expect high amounts of money to be exchanged.

This lot is described:
Garth: 3 original artworks (1971) by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 1st/8th/25th September 1971. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Garth and General Custer lead the 7th Cavalry charge against Sitting Bull. Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (x3)
And finally....

I don't usually highlight other comics in which Bellamy's work appears, when they're in the same auction (where would it end?!) But because we recently discovered The Mighty Comic Annual which has a cover by Frank Bellamy and was published by Gerald Swan before 1950, here it is. Peter Hansen (watch an interview with him by John Freeman) shared the cover on Facebook and said that there is no artwork by Bellamy inside  - just the cover.

The Mighty Comic Annual (Lot 42)

Malcolm Phillips describes this item, which is from the Hansen Archive:

Mighty Comic Annual (1948 G.G. Swan) with Frank Bellamy cover art containing Archie, Betty and Veronica and Katy Keene US reprints - interior stories by Henry Banger and Ron Embleton
Geoff Harrison mentioned on Facebook that he has two copies of The Mighty Comic Annual in which the contents are different but the cover the same - so see the listing above!

The annuals sold for £80 plus fees


WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Linited
STARTING BID: [Opening bid £740 - Auctioneer's estimate £800-£1,000]
ENDING PRICE:£5,800 (plus fees)
END DATE: Sunday 1 September 2019

GARTH: E206, E212 and E223
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Linited
STARTING BID: [Opening bid £640 - Auctioneer's estimate: £700-£900]
ENDING PRICE:£1,140 plus fees
END DATE: Sunday 1 September 2019

WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Linited
STARTING BID: [Opening bid £1,360 - Auctioneer's estimate £1,500-£2,000]
ENDING PRICE:£7,300 plus fees

END DATE: Sunday 1 September 2019